Kara Maciel, Member of the Epstein Becker Green Labor and Employment, Litigation, and Health Care and Life Sciences Practices, was recently interviewed by Employment Law360 concerning employer wellness programs.
According to the article, businesses are turning to wellness programs to curb health care expenses, but programs that aren’t carefully crafted can open employers up to costly privacy and discrimination litigation, attorneys say. Wellness programs can lead to big savings for employers by targeting behaviors that can cause conditions that drive up their health care expenditures. But programs that give employers too much information about their employees can leave employers vulnerable to claims that they have violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, and state privacy and nondiscrimination laws, experts say.
“Employers really can open themselves up to a litigation minefield if they do not properly craft their programs in a legally compliant way, with a particular focus on discrimination and privacy issues,” said Maciel.